Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets in cities throughout Mexico the day after presidential elections declared Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, the winner, and yet the news media has been largely quiet. Protesters accuse him of buying votes and paying off television networks for support.
The PRI previously ruled Mexico for seven decades, during which time it was accused of rigging elections, corruption and repression.
Protestors allege that vote-buying, an illegal act in Mexico, is responsible for the 7 percentage point win for the PRI.
“The PRI threatens many people and buys others with a couple of tacos,” said Manuel Ocegueda, a 43-year-old shop worker participating in the march.
Much of the criticism is being aimed at Mexican media giants Televisa and TV Azteca who have been largely quiet about the protests. Accusations that the media has been bought off by the PRI are supported by U.S. State Department documents, leaked by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and released by WikiLeaks. The contents of the documents include concerns that Peña Nieto paid for favorable media coverage as far back as 2009.
In the meantime, Mexican citizens continue to raise their voices, refusing to be silent. Twitter is full of tweets using the hashtags #YoSoy132 and #MegaMarcha. Protestors carry signs in English, Japanese, German and other languages in hopes of attracting media attention around the world.
“The elections, in my opinion, were a very well planned ‘circus’, just a show,” said Maricela J. Becerra, “There is a meme going around online that says “No me pidas que respete los resultados de un proceso que no respetaste” [Don’t ask me to respect the results of a process that you didn’t respect] and I think that phrase pretty much sums up the sentimiento of the people marching…My hope for Mexico is that one day we will have a real and clean democracy …and more importantly, my hope is that my compatriotas mexicanos continue to speak up, que no se conformen! Many people say that Mexicans do not care, that we are used to living in a corrupt country… it’s time we get the control of our country back, it’s time the government works for everyone and not just those with money.”